Early stage dementia and coping with a loved one who has been diagnosed or shows signs of dementia can sometimes be quite odd and might leave you asking yourself questions about their behaviour and moods. It is important to remember a few facts about the affected person in order to understand their thought processes and emotions.
Sufferers of Dementia might sometimes have difficulty trying to finish sentences or find the words they are looking for. This can be linked with memory loss and sometimes no recall at all of recent events or encounters. This can obviously be hard to deal with and reassurance is key. Assuring the person they are in a safe environment and there is no need to be frightened or overly cautious is also important. Dementia sufferers can also suffer from constant mood swings and may sometimes act out of character, even around their close family and friends. It's important to remember that these outbursts are not to be taken personally as the person may have forgotten who you are, and why you are with them. Letting them know everything's fine will help calm them down and make them feel secure again.
Common effects of Dementia can also include the affected person mistaking people for intruders when in fact nothing is untoward or to be feared. Recollection of names and faces can be severely affected, sometimes making it difficult to socialise and interact with the person. Dementia is a progressive condition. This means that as time passes the symptoms will become worse, often without the person actually realising their own symptoms. The speed at which the person's Dementia will become more severe usually depends on the cause of Dementia and the person's environment. You may also notice depression in the person. They may suddenly adopt a pessimistic outlook and begin to pick out negatives of their situation. This is a common symptom and, if dealt with correctly, will pass relatively quickly. Empathising and interacting with the person can also make them feel better, as it gives them a person to discuss their problems with and maybe discuss solutions.
Another significant symptom of Dementia is the decreased ability to perform tasks that require organisation or planning. They might become disorientated and lose focus easily. Techniques like writing things down and reminders can prove helpful in this situation. People with Dementia will often seem awkward and ignorant in social situations. They may slowly lose the ability to speak, and in some cases, the ability to speak altogether. It's important to constantly interact with them and use other types of communication such as expressions, gestures and touching. These can help fight off the inability to communicate effectively.
Living with someone with Dementia can be hard, but with your help the symptoms can be relieved to an extent where they can lead normal lives and become independant.